The Sixers wrapped up their longest road trip of the season with a 21-point comeback against one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Philly beat the Sacramento Kings 129-127 Saturday night, completing a perfect 5-0 road trip. Tyrese Maxey got hot in the second half, dropping 32 points and six assists.
With Joel Embiid and James Harden taking the night off (to presumably watch the Birds), the two will have five whole days of rest before they take the court again. The win improves the Sixers to 30-16, a full game ahead of the Bucks for the two seed.
Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.
- Unsurprising given the personnel, but the Kings got just about any shot they wanted in the opening frame. They scored 35 points on 60 percent shooting from the field as they took an eight-point lead early.
- Tobias Harris got off to a good start for Philly as he put up 10 points on 4-6 shooting in the first. Even with an offense centered around his post-ups, he still managed to put up two threes and a dunk early.
- Davion Mitchell made a 28-foot three on an attempted lob. Basketball!
- Georges Niang has notably improved at scoring from inside the arc this season. His pace can really throw off the timing of the defense. He only took one three in the first half as six of his nine first-half points came from inside the arc.
- Harrison Barnes was on fire, going 5-6 from downtown in the first half. The Kings as a team shot 47.4 percent from deep. The 74 points scored by Sacramento was the most they’d put up in a first half this season.
- Despite all of that, the Sixers found themselves down only 10 points at the half. Danuel House Jr. banked in a prayer at the buzzer to cap off a 14-3 Sixers run to end the second quarter.
- The Sixers were able to use that momentum to make this a close game, as Maxey caught fire to start the second half. Fifteen of Maxey’s 32 came in the third as he was making shots from literally all over the floor.
- Air balled free throw aside, it was a really solid game from Montrezl Harrell on the offensive end of the floor. He was 7-8 from the field, but his five offensive rebounds felt more impactful. Second-chance points were key to keeping Philly in the game, they won that category 23-6 on the night.
- Without their two best players, the Sixers had every reason to write this game off, especially after falling down 21. They did more than just hang around, they shot 64 percent in the third quarter to take a six-point lead into the fourth.
- Sacramento made their way back into the game from the free throw line. They were in the bonus less than five minutes into the fourth, and made nine trips to the line in the final quarter. Tobias Harris fouled out with just over three minutes to go.
- The entire Sixers bench deserves credit for their effort in this one, but Shake Milton really came up big in the second half. Eleven of Shake’s 15 came after halftime as the Sixers bench outscored the Kings 49-20.
- The Sixers lucked out that Harrison Barnes missed the first free throw with three seconds left. Matisse Thybulle got his hands caught in the cookie jar with Barnes taking a three, and while it might not have been the best foul call, it wasn’t worth the risk.
- The Sixers will return home to take on Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST.